Here we are at Day Four of Something Wicked Comes! Are you tired of giveaways yet? I didn’t think so! Here are today’s stops:
Cassie@Gathering Leaves Brett Talley: That Which Should Not Be Named
Blu@ Not Now...Mommy's Reading: Nightwhere by John Everson
Heather@Buried in Books: Ann Aguirre Outpost Audiobook
Janiera@Books and Beauty: Derek the Ghost Scary School
Please, Please be sure to visit all the stops. Supporting all the particpating blogs will help us to create an even bigger and better event next time which is a win win for everyone involved. So get entering those giveaways!
Today here on Rainy Day Ramblings for Something Wicked Comes Day Four, I want to introduce you to indie author, J.L. Bryan. He is the author of The Paranormal Series and Songs of Magic, as well as several other titles. He is well known around the blogosphere since he is just an all around good guy. He also runs a fantastic little blog which host some great events, including The Midsummer's Night Carnival. So make sure to keep tabs on his blog for the next big event. I am pleased to introduce him to you all today. Jeff is here to share with us a fun little Halloween post on something that is an integral part of the Halloween tradition: MASKS! Please be sure to enter his incredibly awesome and generous giveaway at the end! Here is a little more about J.L. Bryan:
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories.
He is the author of The Paranormals series of horror novels (Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, and Alexander Death) The Songs of Magic series for younger readers (Fairy Metal Thunder, Fairy Blues, and Fairystruck...so far) and other books. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, their son, and some dogs and cats. (This is the short version, you can see the long one here.)
Here is Jeff on Masks:
Why We Wear Masks
Dressing in masks and costumes is possibly the most fun part of Halloween! Human beings have loved wearing masks for thousands of years. They give us the opportunity to become someone (or something) else for a while, and to unleash parts of ourselves that we keep hidden. Sometimes wearing a mask frees you to be yourself.
Masks for ceremonial purposes are ubiquitous in the human world from prehistoric times. Ancient maskmakers in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas sought to commune with nature spirits and dead ancestors by wearing masks. The mask-wearer brings the mythical to life through ritual and dance, acting out the dramas of the hunt, the changing seasons, planting and harvesting, and even the creation of the universe.
For example, the ancient Greeks held dramatic festivals dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, an important figure in an agricultural society (especially one where everybody drinks wine!). Masks enabled actors to become gods and legendary heroes. Drama was more than entertainment in ancient Greece; it held powerful religious significance as well.
The association of masks with religion and ceremony loosened during the Italian Renaissance, when the city of Venice began to hold huge masked celebrations in the days leading up to Lent. Elaborate pre-Lent carnivals (including Mardi Gras) can now be found throughout the Catholic world. In these celebrations, masks liberate people from their usual roles in life, creating an environment of fun and free play.
Our Halloween costumes set us free to let us become anything we can imagine—scary, sexy, or funny. Mask-wearing, for whatever reason, clearly plays an important role in liberating the creative and emotional side of human beings. Dressing up like a monster this Halloween might just help you keep your sanity the rest of the year!
In the comments below, let us know about your favorite mask or how you plan to dress for Halloween this year! One entry will win the four books in The Paranormals series: Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, Alexander Death.. These are ebooks so that the giveaway can be international. The fourth book, Jenny Plague-Bringer, comes out later this month, and you’ll receive an advance ebook copy of that, too!
A big thank you to Jeff for the informative post and the wickedly awesome giveaway. An ARC of Book Four!! Wow! In case you haven't seen it, yet here is the newly relased cover for Book Four: Jenny Plague Bringer.
Please show Jeff some support visit him on his website, blog, Facebook, Goodreads and twitter. Make sure to enter giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter and be sure to leave a comment! Read the Contest Policies for all the tedious details. Good Luck!
Oh and one more thing... a little Halloween gift to all of you from Jeff, you can go download Book One: Jenny Pox on Amazon for free! It is a great book for the season.
Here is my review:
Jenny Pox (Paranormals #1) by J.L. Bryan
Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town. Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.
Paperback, 214 pages
Published July 22nd 2010
Jenny is an unusual girl. No one can touch her skin or they will become infected with a deadly pox and die if they are overly exposed. Her mother died during her birth and her father does the best he can, but never being able to touch someone without fear is a lonely existence. Jenny somehow manages to muster through school by ducking her head and remaining aloof, until an incident on the playground in first grade. Jenny tangles with the school's resident mean girl. A scratch and a sudden illness earn Jenny the nickname Jenny Pox. Time marches on and the event is nearly forgotten. Jenny is starting her senior year, wondering how she can survive one more year of torture. Yet, she is in for a surprise. Suddenly she is not alone, she has a friend and ally, but it is at a terrible price. Jenny has once again crossed the mean girl, Ashleigh. Now it turns out that Jenny isn't the only one with a secret power. Trouble is brewing and years of torture and resentment are about to come to a head!
What I Liked:
- I was taken by surprise with this one. This book seemed to be following the typical tortured shy girl who endures years of unrelenting cruelty at the hands of the mean girl, but things suddenly take a whole new direction. Especially with the added additions of the pox and the other two individuals with their own powers. What ensues is a twisted storyline full of manipulative plotting,treachery, and a tender romance, which all builds into a stunning, terrifying ending that will blow your mind. Not only are the final scenes filled with an exacting revenge, but there is a great twist that explains everything that was totally unexpected. I admit, I was fully expecting the revenge pay out, but the final revelations were amazing! Read the book to experience it for yourself!
- I enjoyed the three POVs in this one. The majority of the story is told through Jenny's eyes, but we also get to experience Seth's view point and then endure the manipulative, cruel Ashleigh. Seeing everything through each character's eyes added depth to the story and I liked seeing how everything was coming together on the three different fronts.
- Wow! Does this book ever have a mean girl. I usually detest mean girls, but Ashleigh is so much more than the typical mean girl. She is cold, calculating and totally manipulative. With each chapter I was more and more horrified and terrified of this girl. I absolutely abhorred and detested her, and I so wanted her to get what she deserved, but yet on the other hand, I was eager to see how far she could take things and how thick she spun her web. Needless to say, she doesn't disappoint. This girl is out for world domination, and I loathed her and loved her at the same time. She is so evil and vile and she elicited such a strong feeling of revulsion in me that I couldn't help but to be impressed. I love when a character can bring out such strong emotions!
- I thoroughly enjoyed that this book builds and builds until you are on the edge of your seat with anxiety just waiting for the hammer to drop! All I will tell you is that the end is one chaotic ride. Strap in and have fun!
- The absolute best part about his book is that right now you can get it for free on Amazon, so I highly suggest you get your copy now!
And The Not So Much:
- I was a bit befuddled at first by the lack of explanation for Jenny's condition and how her father managed to rear her all by himself and work and support her, this is not mentioned and in reality it would probably be impossible, but for the sake of fiction and a good story it is easily overlooked. I also wished that there was just touch more information on Jenny's mother and what kind of person she was.
- As in a lot of YA books, the parents tend to vanish and not play an adequate role in their kids' lives. This is the case in this story as well, except that Jenny's father and Seth's parents are around in the beginning and mysteriously out of the picture at the end. Seth's circumstances were especially weird. One minute his father is there lecturing him on who he can date and laying down the law, and then he is gone to Florida for the remainder of the book, which is over the course of several months. I just found it a little hard to believe he wouldn't keep closer tabs on his son.
- This book has mature themes and there are some sex scenes, drug usage and drinking, so a word of caution if you prefer to keep that content away from your reader. This one is best suited for older readers. To be fair though, the book description advises this is best suited for eighteen and older.
- Finally, after the big showdown and surprising revelations at the end, I wanted a bit more closure, but I am guessing that the aftermath to the town and the citizens will be explained in the sequel Tommy Nightmares.
Jenny Pox is a thrilling and terrifying read that manages to notch up the suspense until the gritty end. If you like books that follow a down trodden character who rises up and gets her revenge, this is a read for you. I was truly blown away by the characters and the story! You can download this for free, so don't hesitate, go get your copy! I can't wait to jump into book two!
"Eventually the kids grew up and stopped believing what they'd seen, and over the years the tale of "Jenny Pox" had gone the way of cooties, boogeyman, and the neighbor who hides razors in apples on Halloween."
"We was trying to teach our children!" she screamed. "We hope y'all proud of yourselves! Your fault if they turn out butt-humpers."
"The trees could make you sad and hopeful at the same time. You knew winter was coming, but you knew it came every year, and it passed and there would be spring again. All the dying should make you appreciate life more."
"She'd always imagined life would get better as she grew older. She would get wiser, discover things, make friends, find the way to her own happiness and out of the misery."
"Ashleigh doesn't have any special power. Just money, tits and an endless supply of bitch."
"Though her dad wasn't quite fifty, he looked shockingly like them, going gray and his face worn down with care, just reaching for that next drink to get you through that next hour of being alive and alone."
"The thing about money was that it really gave you a chance to express your insanity."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this review.
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